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Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Liam Gallagher interview with City Weekend Magazine
A few weeks before the formal announcement that Oasis is bypassing China on the Asian leg of their tour, CW chatted with Liam about everything from Mao to song writing.
Getting to Know Each Other
CW: Hi Liam, this is Blake from City Weekend Magazine.
A Man of Many Hats
CW: Hey man, alright, well I’ve got some questions for you, I’ll probably just go right into them as time’s short. Mmm, first of all, as you’ve done more the writing on each successive album, how do you separate the roles of vocalist and song writer and which means more to you these days?
Liam: Well, the singing is the most important thing ever, being a singer for Oasis is the most important thing. Song writing is summit' I do in the house just as a hobby, just to clear the head and you know, if people like it then it goes on an Oasis record and if it doesn’t then it stays as a hobby, you know what I mean? And I certainly don’t force people to put my music on, I’m not, I’m not interested, I’m not mythered [read: bothered] either way, whether it’s Oasis or not, but people like the songs, i.e. Noel, some of the band members and away it goes, it goes onto the record, we work at it, we try to make it cool but if I never wrote another song I wouldn’t mind it.
CW: Hehe, right on.
Liam: My, my, my main thing is singing, it’s, I’m more worried about losing my voice than writing another song.
CW: Mmm, let me ask you, Oasis formed about, more than 15 years ago now, are there any bands you look to as examples of how you’d want to develop in your second and perhaps third decade as a band?
Liam: Not really, I mean I respect Neil Young 'cause he keeps putting music out, and The Rolling Stones keep going and stuff, but they don’t really put any music out. I suppose U2, they’re the nearest ones that, have been going long and they keep putting music out and they seem to be active all the time, you know ever couple of years they’re doing things where as The Rolling Stones sort of just go on tours, and you know, don’t try and make any new music, so, not them.
CW: You, you just mentioned Neil Young, mmm, I think a few months back Noel in an interview with the Guardian mentioned that he had already began work on a follow-up to Dig Out Your Soul, which he had likened to Neil Young’s Greendale and The Kinks. Is that for real and if so could you tell me a little bit more about it?
Liam: I mean, we recorded quite a few songs, for Dig Out Your Soul, a couple didn’t make it on to the album just cause, you know, we didn’t finish them in time and stuff, and they were sounding good. And then we’re always writing, so Noel’s always sort of in the studios, whether it’s for his solo record or whether he’s doing it for Oasis, who knows, you’d have to ask him man. I mean, me personally, once we’ve finished this tour I’d like to have a couple of months off just to relax ,and then, I’d like to get back into Abbey Road man, I mean, we’re not getting any younger, and if we’ve got the music, let’s make Oasis music…
CW: Right on…
Liam: Me personally, I haven’t got any time to be making solo records, you know, life’s too short to be fucking about trying to be Robbie Williams or Rod Steward or anything like that.
Thoughts on "The Business
"CW: [Laughs] I’m curious, what producers would you like to work with in the future, and why?
Liam: Eh, I really don’t know much, any producers really, I’m not really mythered. People keep always going on about Rick Ruben and stuff, but, you know, I don’t know what Dave Sardy, I don’t know what Rick Ruben would do that Dave Sardy doesn’t do, and plus I don’t like working with big time producers. I don’t mean that in a bad way to Dave Sardy, Dave’s a great producer but, he knows that we have the final say, so all these big time producers like Eno and all these fucking idiots that people work with today, it’s like, they wouldn’t last five minutes in the studio with Oasis. So, you know, Dave Sardy, I like to keep working with him. Or maybe, I’d like to do one ourselves, do you know what I mean? Get someone in to help but, but I mean, we sort of produce our records anyway, you know what I mean, we sort of, Dave does the twiddling of the knobs but we sort of try and tell him how it sounds.
Looking to the Future
CW: Have you ever thought of, I mean, do you think you guys might do that in the future? Just, eh, take the studio over.
Liam: Maybe, yeah, maybe do, maybe do like a really downtown record, not so over produced or anything. I think we’re getting to that stage at some point. I think Gem could produce Oasis, but it’s big band, it’s a big album but I think Gem could piss it, you know what I mean?
CW: No, that would be amazing.
Liam: Well I thinks so, save paying some other fucking clown to make you sound how you want to sound, I don’t understand it? So, I think Gem could produce it, Gem and Noel but it depends whether they want to do it or not, I’m not, I’m easy.
Oasis In China: Mao Who?
CW: Thinking about the live show here in China, mmm, Oasis is bigger than almost anything in China, and has defined so much of the music that’s come out of here for the past decade and a half, I’m curious, what do you think of the idea of 1.3 billion people learning English to the lyrics of "Love Like A Bomb"?
Liam: What, who’s done that?
CW: Hahaha, The Chinese nation
Liam: What they like that, they like that song, do they?
CW: It’s, well all Oasis songs are pretty popular here and you know, people quote Oasis to me and always try to impress me with …
Liam: Of course man, well, that’s beautiful, that’s what I’m in a band for. To touch people on the other side of the world, you know what I mean, and also touch people who are stood right in front of you, but, yeah it’s cool man, I down with it mate.
CW: Is anything pulling you to China right now, is there any special attraction?
Liam: Any special attraction? Just the kids man, they’re into our music really, I mean, I don’t know much about the country and that so, I’ll just have to wait and see, but, if people want to come and see us, then I’m all over it man. We’ll get down there and do what we can to make them have a good time.
CW: Eh, you’ve said, “Oasis is bigger than the Beatles” and eh that’s maybe...
Liam: Nah, nah, nah, nah, I’ve never said that mate, I never, I'm not that daft, I reckon that’s sounds like our kid.
CW: Ha, is Oasis bigger than Mao Ze Dong?
Liam: Than who?
CW: Than Mao Ze Dong the Chinese leader for, eh, the forty years of their history.
Liam: I’ve never heard of him. Who is he?
CW: Er, I’ve never heard of him either ... mmm ... moving on, I’m curious about…
Liam: We’ve probably made more records than him, right?
CW: At least five, mmm...
Liam: Well, there you go.
CW: What is the average day like of a rock star like Liam Gallagher, when you’re not touring or recording?
Liam: Well, get up about 7 o’clock with the kids, bath 'em, take to school, maybe go for a run or summit these days, I’m into running. Then eh, just chill, maybe go to the shops, go out for a bit of lunch with the missus. I don’t really do that much, you know what I mean.
CW: Sounds beautiful, is there any down side to being a rock star?
Liam: Any down side to it? Being in a band with your brother, who thinks he’s Robbie Williams.
CW: Hahaha. Mmm, I’m curious about how your roots, how coming from the home of the Madchester movement has influenced you musically or otherwise. Do you think there are any movements as significant as it now in England or elsewhere?
Liam: I’m not into movements; I’m not into all that stuff. I mean Manchester when I was growing up was just a load of lads in bands and everyone down south sort of made it this Madchester thing but that had been going on for years, like with Joy Division and all these bands, you know what I mean? There’s always been bands in Manchester. So, and then we come along and it was the Brit pop thing but, I’m not into, if there is a movement I’ve got nothing to do with it, I’m not, I’m not into that, I’m just into good music by cool looking people who don’t suck cock who are honest and sincere. You know I’m not in it to be famous, you know I’m in it to make some good music and you know, if there is a movement I don’t want to anything, I’ve got nothing to do with it.
CW: When you’re writing songs, what do you look to for inspiration, what do you think about?
Liam: Just, just life mate, I don’t, I don’t need to be inspired, I’m already inspired, just by people and myself and my kids and my wife and you know, you and them, and him and her, just people. People are inspiring enough.
Who Would You Play With?
CW: If you could tour with any band playing out there now, who would you like to tour with?
Liam: Kasabian. But we are touring with them, they’re touring with us. Any band at the moment, let me see, oh, any band, I’d fucking play with any band, I’d love to blow them all over the fucking stage and put them right in their place.
Liam: Any band, I’ll play with anyone, I’m not, I’m not shy man. You know, I’d destroy them all.
CW: When you’re preparing for a tour, do you try and rearrange your past hits to fit in with your current style or do you just play them like you’ve always played them?
Liam: We just play them the way we play them man, you know, and that’s it you know, you know, we just sort of dropped a lot of hits from our set because, we want to concentrate on the new album. But you’ve got to play the obvious ones I suppose, otherwise people start crying, you know what I mean? We don’t want any of that. We don’t think that much about it, we just play it straightforward man, and you know, if it doesn’t sound right then we bin it. But, you know, we don’t think that hard about it, Rock ‘n’ roll shouldn’t really be thought of, you know, it’s not an encyclopedia, it’s just simple, straight forward rock ‘n’ roll music. If you start thinking abut it too hard about it you end up like Radiohead or Muse, you know what I mean? So we keep it real man, we keep it simple.
CW: Can you tell us something a little bit about the visuals, that eh, that you come up with for your album covers and videos? What’s the process there?
Liam: Eh, I don’t, I don’t know man about any of that. The guy, I’m not sure of his name so I won’t say it in case I, but he’s great anyway, he’s really cool. We just sort of give him the thing and said look, let’s go for it, let’s make it a bit psychedelic. You know, we don’t do, we don’t do much on stage so it’s good for the kids to have a look a summit, you know what I mean, while we’re stood there just, belting it out.
CW: This is going to be your first tour in China, is there anything special you want to see out here?
Liam: Just the people man, I wanna see the people, that’s all I care about man.
CW: Are you going to have time?
Liam: If, If, I hope so, if I get the day off I’ll have a walk around and see the people and see the city or wherever we are and, hopefully man, but I just want to see the people. That’s, a building’s a building, isn’t it?
CW: It sure is. And a wall’s a wall
Liam: Do you know what I mean so, and a park’s a park but, people, I just want to see the people.
CW: Mmm, you guys tour rather extensively still. Do you ever feel the grind on the tours? Does it get to you?
Liam: No, I like it mate, I mean, that’s why I’m in it for. I love playing music man, I love playing, I love playing, I love playing to the people who like the band, you know what I mean? And I ike going around seeing each city and stuff, I like it man. I mean, I miss the kids and the wife and all that but, you know, I was doing this before I met them and this is what pays the bills, and this is what’s, this is what I love, you know what I mean, so, it’s got to be done.
CW: Well fantastic, mmm, Liam, what’s the one question I should ask you that you’ve always wanted to be asked that you’ve never been asked.
Liam: Mmm, what’s it like being god-like?
CW: What’s it like being god-like Liam?
Liam: If I told you I’d have to kill you mate.
CW: Haha. Liam, thank you so much, I really appreciate your taking the time, this is a real eh, a real gift.
Liam: Alright mate, take care.
CW: Cheers bro.
Liam: Bye bye.
Via L4E: source: cityweekend.com.cn
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